Preparing walls and ceilings for painting is crucial to ensure a smooth and long-lasting finish. Very often, the difference between a professional paint job  and a DIY project is the quality of the preparation. Read our article on how to prep your walls and ceilings to get that professional finish.

The preparation part of a painting and decorating job can seem long and laborious. No doubt, you will be keen to get colour on the walls but it’s important to complete this stage to the best of your ability. This is what provides the canvas for a great paint job.

Here are the steps to follow:

Clear the area: Remove any furniture, decorations, or fixtures from the room or cover them with plastic sheets and dust sheets to protect them from dust and paint splatters.

Repair any damage: Inspect the walls and ceilings for any cracks, holes, or imperfections. Fill the cracks and holes with a wall filler such as Gyproc Easy Fill. You will need to use a filling blade or a putty knife. Once the filler is dry, sand it smooth with fine-grit sandpaper and assess to see if a second fill is required. Deep holes may need several fills. Don’t be tempted to fill a deep hole in one go as it will take a long time to dry and will probably crack.

Clean surfaces are best

Clean the surfaces: Dust, dirt, and grease can interfere with paint adhesion. Clean the walls and ceilings using a mild detergent mixed with water. Scrub gently with a sponge or cloth and rinse with clean water. Let the surfaces dry completely before proceeding.

Sand glossy surfaces: If the walls or ceilings have a shiny finish,  it’s essential to scuff up the surface to promote paint adhesion. Examples of shiny paints include soft sheen emulsion, durable emulsion, or kitchen and bathroom paint. Use fine sandpaper or a sanding block to lightly sand the surface. Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth afterward.

Prime the surfaces (optional): Priming is not always necessary, but it can be beneficial. Priming is recommended when dealing with porous surfaces (brand-new plaster), stained areas, or drastic color changes. Apply a coat of primer using a roller or brush and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Protect trim and skirting: Cover any trim, skirting, or adjacent surfaces that you don’t want to paint with masking tape and dust sheets.

Don’t miss the next step

Fill in gaps and caulk: This process is the most overlooked when decorating yourself. Inspect the corners and seams where the walls meet each other and where the walls meet woodwork. Apply caulk to any gaps or cracks with a caulking gun. Smooth out the caulk with your finger and wipe away any excess. Top tip: a damp jay cloth will be your best friend while you do this.

Sand the ceiling or walls again (optional): For an extra smooth finish, you can lightly sand the primed or cleaned surfaces with fine sandpaper. This step helps to eliminate minor imperfections and create a smoother surface.

Clean them again: After sanding, clean the walls and ceilings once more to remove any dust or debris created during the sanding process. Use a damp cloth or sponge and allow the surfaces to dry completely.

Ready to paint

Once you’ve completed these preparation steps, you’re ready to apply paint to your walls and ceilings. Be sure to choose the appropriate paint and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.

If you have realised that there’s more to this than you thought and would like to get the professionals in, contact us at